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Enhanced cleaning will be introduced across all TfL transport but the public must continue to follow handwashing advice, the authority stressed.
In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic around the world, Transport for London (TfL) said it is in the final stages of testing a new, longer-lasting cleaning agent that could provide anti-viral protection for up to 30 days.
TfL, which operates the UK capital’s public transport network and manages London’s main roads, hopes to begin using the new agent within the next couple of weeks. The organisation is also finalising plans to use specialist hygiene back-pack equipment to spray the new disinfectant.
The transport authority, which has also outlined an enhanced cleaning regime across its networks, has stressed that the public should still follow handwashing advice.
"The authority is also finalising plans to use specialist hygiene back-pack equipment to spray the new disinfectant."
Public transport agencies around the world are responding to the Covid-19 outbreak, including forming coronavirus task forces and stepping up cleaning.
Public Health England has stated that there are currently no specific concerns about using public transport. However, TfL says it began rolling out enhanced anti-viral fluid, which is used in hospitals, on Tube trains and at stations on Friday last week to provide added protection. Key interchanges will be cleaned more regularly than usual, including during the day.
TfL is also using the enhanced disinfectant in depots and drivers’ cabs, which previously were cleaned with traditional disinfectant.
All buses will now also have regularly touched areas, such as poles and doors, wiped down with a strong disinfectant every day.
In the meantime, Public Health England continues to urge everyone to wash their hands regularly throughout the day, before eating and when arriving at work or home. It is believed that the virus can be passed on through contaminated surfaces.
Lilli Matson, director of health, safety and the environment at TfL, said: " A lot of our cleaning goes on when stations are closed or trains are out of service, so to provide additional reassurance, teams will be cleaning areas that are frequently touched throughout the day, in addition to the enhanced cleaning regime that all bus garages will be carrying out."
"To provide additional, reassurance teams will be cleaning areas that are frequently touched throughout the day."
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: "I’m doing all I can to work with Public Health England and other experts to keep Londoners safe so I’m pleased that TfL is stepping up enhanced cleaning across the transport network.
"Along with trialling new longer-lasting cleaning fluid, this will help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. I want to reassure Londoners and visitors that the advice from experts is to continue with our daily lives as normal, including using public transport."
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